USAID-funded project to improve biodiversity in Quang Nam hinh anh 1USAID Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene talks with leaders of Quang Nam province at the ceremony to launch the USAID Green Annamites Project on March 27. (Photo: USAID Vietnam)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the 24-million-USD Green Annamites Project in Tam Ky city, the central province of Quang Nam on March 27 to help it preserve local biodiversity and improve people’s livelihoods.

The project aims to better manage more than 400,000 hectares of natural forest and protect endangered plants and animals. It also looks to improve the livelihoods of 20,000 forest-dependent people in Quang Nam and neighbouring Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

The project will be carried out in 11 cities and districts of Quang Nam until 2021 with total investment of more than 14 million USD.

Forests play a crucial role in Vietnam by protecting watersheds which slow soil erosion and alleviate climate change. Forests in the Annamites Range of Vietnam are home to rare and endemic species found nowhere else in the world.  However, in recent times, these forests, and the species that live in them, are disappearing at an alarming rate, as nearby communities increasingly depend on these limited resources for their livelihoods.

In such context, the USAID Green Annamites Project will engage small-hold farmers and their families to boost livelihoods and increase investment in climate-smart agriculture in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam while maintaining the natural biodiversity of these provinces.

It will help the two target provinces reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and restore degraded landscapes. From partnering with the private sector, which sources materials from forests and local farmers, to introducing improved farming practices and strengthening market access, the project will help local forest-dependent communities diversify and adopt sustainable livelihoods.

The project also includes actions for improving forest conservation planning, increasing the knowledge and skills of local forest managers and decision makers and helping local communities live in harmony with protected forests.

Climate change directly threatens Vietnam’s sustainable development goals. To accelerate its transition to low-emission development, the country has collaborated with USAID to better respond to climate change through adaptation, sustainable landscapes and clean energy programmes in recent years.–VNS